Cincinnati has an amazing arts community. For a city of our size, we can experience the opera, symphony, ballet, theater, museums, choral music, modern dance and a variety of other art forms. We are also very fortunate that African-American artists routinely display their talents right here in the Queen City.
Cincy Arts Guide provides detailed listings on performances, exhibitions, classes, fundraisers and other arts events from arts organizations across the region.
Here is a list of upcoming events that local African-Americans will not want to miss. Be sure to ask about any special deals, discount options, community performances or same-day options. If there are events we have missed, please submit them to The Voice of Black Cincinnati Calendar.
Cincinnati Funk Fest
U.S. Bank Arena
Cincinnati Funk Fest is bringing your favorite funky but conscious artists together to give you that Hip-Hop groove you need. Hitting the stage will be Erykah Badu, Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def, Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek, Kameron Corvet, Speed Walton, and Lauren Eylise. Tickets for this event are $63 – $124 and can be purchased online, by calling 1-800-745-3000 or visiting the U.S. Bank Arena Box Office. Doors open at 6 p.m. The concert starts at 8 p.m.
Shakespeare’s Othello Play
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
March 2 – April 24
The play will feature founding company member Nicholas Rose as Iago, as well as newcomer William Oliver Watkins as Othello. Shakespeare’s Othello play is the infamous take of obsession, jealousy and betrayal. How will this love story end? Ticket prices range between $14 – $52 and can be purchased online, by calling 513-381-2273 or visiting the box office. Use discount code VOICE to receive 25% off tickets for performances March 2-24. There is a limit purchase of 4 tickets when using the code.
His Eye is on the Sparrow Jazz Performance
April 24 – May 18
Born in 1896 into abject poverty, Ethel Waters became a Vaudeville success and a recording sensation while crossing racial barriers to emerge as a Broadway and Hollywood star. However, a reputation for being difficult and her own distrust of those who might employ her or love her — largely a response to the unspeakable horrors of Jim Crow America — caused her to lose everything and become a recluse, until she found new strength from a most unlikely source. Ticket prices are $21 – $55 and can be purchased online, by calling 513-421-3555, or by visiting the box office at the theatre. Hurry while supplies last and receive 25% using promo code SparrowVOYC!
Cincinnati Music Hall
Classical Roots 2018 performance captures the original spirit by shining a spotlight on Cincinnati’s rich musical heritage including the great artists who performed at the Greystone Club. Selections this year will include music by iconic African-American composers such as Eubie Blake and James Reese Europe. The program will also recognize Marion Anderson, the first African-American to perform on stage at Music Hall’s Spring Auditorium. Tickets range from $25 – $55 for full view seating. Limited view seating tickets are only $10. Tickets can be purchased online, by calling 513-381-3300 or visiting the Cincinnati Music Hall Box Office.
Platinum Comedy Tour
U.S. Bank Arena
Laugh until you fall out of your seat at the Platinum Comedy Tour Cincinnati show featuring Tony Rock, DeRay Davis, Mike Epps and Rickey Smiley. Ticket prices range from $56 – $129 and can be purchased online, by calling 513-421-4111 or visiting the U.S. Bank Arena Box Office. Parking is available in the East Garage, Great American Ballpark and surrounding lots.
2018 Affirmed ULYPGSO YP Honors Bruch & Awards Ceremony
This event recognizes top-tier young professionals in Greater Southwestern Ohio who are contributing to their community while making great strides in their profession. Nominees will be scored in the areas of Civic Engagement, Philanthropy and Professional Development. The event will be hosted by Jennifer Moore. Tickets are $55 for members, $65 for non-members and can be purchased online. Dorian L. Spence is the keynote speaker. Nominations are now open.
Free Interactive Minority Health Fair
Frederick Douglas Elementary School
April 21 – 22
This FREE, family-friendly, two-day event will focus on bridging the gap between the elderly and youth by bringing awareness of the health disparities in the African-American community. Free medical supplies will be given away and health screenings will be provided. Don’t miss a musical performance by conscious rapper Dee-1 on April 21! Although entry to the Minority Health Fair is free, online registration for tickets is required. All activities will pair a youth with an adult.
American Roots Series: The Victor Wooten Band & Sinbad
Memorial Hall and Eli’s BBQ are turning up the heat at this year’s American Roots Series. This series consists of four intimate Cincinnati shows that include some of America’s treasured legends. This year, five-time Grammy Award-winning musician Victor Wooten is teaming up with all-star comedian Sinbad for a unique one night only concert. Single tickets range from only $30-$45 and can be purchased online, by calling 513-977-8838 or visiting the Box Office. If you would like to attend the entire American Roots series, tickets range from $100-$160 for subscriptions.
Opera Goes to Church
Lincoln Heights Missionary Baptist Church
April 26 – 28
Now in its thirteenth year, the series features internationally acclaimed artists from Cincinnati Opera, dynamic congregational choirs, and young artists, performing a variety of musical genres including gospel, jazz, and classical. Channel 5 news anchor Courtis Fuller will emcee all three concerts. Admission to each event is free, though tickets are required (limit four tickets per household, per venue). Tickets are available beginning Monday, March 19 at 10 a.m. and can be purchased online. Use promo code PRAISE at when checking out.
3rd Annual Queen City Derby Party
Queen City Derby Party brings together a wide range of professionals and socialites from across Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky to enjoy a one of its kind Kentucky Derby watch party. A great entertainment experience will be provided through food, networking, music, and dance. Everyone should come dressed with fashion and flare! Ladies, hats are a must. Express your inner Southern Belle. Ticket prices range from $20 – $80 and can be purchased online. This is an event to see and be seen.
Dance Theatre of Harlem
May 11 – 12
Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) consists of fourteen racially diverse dance artists who perform an eclectic, demanding repertoire. Tickets prices range from $33.50 – $73.50 and can be purchased online, by calling 513-621-2787 or visiting the Aronoff Box Office. Get 20% your ticket order by mentioning code VOICE over the phone, in-person, or purchasing online. Student tickets are also available for when you mention promo code STUDENT over the phone, in-person or purchasing online. Student tickets are in select locations with a limit of (4) tickets per order. Online and phone orders will be held at Will Call for pickup with a valid student ID.
Professional Pretty Conference
African American Cultural & Resource Center/University of Cincinnati
Get ready for The 2018 Professional Pretty Conference! The keynote speaker will be Dawn Williams Thompson, Brand Strategist/President, Marketing Agent & Knowledge Coach, LLC. and My Black is Beautiful co-founder. There will be over 12 speakers, 12 Workshops and a “Slay Alley.” Attendees will be able to enter “Slay Alleyway” throughout the day to learn about beauty, skincare, styling and more. Tickets are $89.99 for Boss Babe admission, and $149.99 for VIP Babe (which includes a special happy hour on Friday, May 18). Both tickets can be purchased online.
Kevin Hart Irresponsible Tour
U.S. Bank Arena
Kevin Hart is bringing his Irresponsible Tour. The 5’4 comedian is standing up against his past irresponsible behavior. His shows always sell out, so grab your tickets today! Ticket prices range from $39- $129 and can be purchased online, by calling 1-800-745-3000 or visiting the U.S. Bank Arena Box Office. Please be aware, no phones, photos, or video will be permitted inside the seating area. So leave your cell phones at home or lock them in your car.
Memorial Hall OTR
When was the last time you witnessed, strings, horns and piano at a Hip-Hop show? Envision if you will, the perfect blend of; Mozart, Motown and Mos Def . Well, that is but a fraction of what you will see when you catch Thee Phantom & The Illharmonic Orchestra in action. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online.
Opera Goes to Church
Allen Temple A.M.E. Church
Now in its thirteenth year, the series features internationally acclaimed artists from Cincinnati Opera, dynamic congregational choirs, and young artists, performing a variety of musical genres including gospel, jazz, and classical. Channel 5 news anchor Courtis Fuller will emcee the concert. Cincinnati Opera artists will also perform in the concerts, with soloists to be announced at a future date. Admission to each event is free, though tickets are required (limit four tickets per household, per venue). Tickets can be purchased online. Use promo code PRAISE at when checking out.
Ledisi Let Love Rule Tour
Ledisi is a 12x Grammy-nominated vocal powerhouse who has wowed fans ever since she came onto the scene. She’s earned a place in the pantheon of the best soul singers of her generation. Ledisi is a favorite of the Obamas and has performed eight times at the White House. Her Let Love Rule Tour features soulful songstresses Melanie Fiona and Tweet. Tickets go on sale Friday, March 2 at 11 a.m. Prices range from $29.50 – $49.50 and can be purchased online, by calling 1-800-745-3000 or visiting the Taft Theatre Box Office.
Chris Brown Concert
Riverbend Music Center
Multi-platinum, GRAMMY Award-winning R&B singer and performer Chris Brown hits Cincinnati and is joined by hip-hop and R&B rising stars 6lack, H.E.R. and Rich the Kid. Tickets are $16 – $180 and can be purchased online or by calling 1-800745-3000. Dates, times and artists subject to change without notice. All events rain or shine.
2018 Cincinnati Music Festival
Paul Brown Stadium
July 26 – 28
It’s LIT every year so get your tickets now. Thursday performer are MC Lyte, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Fashion Show by Shingo and DJ Vader. Friday performers are Charlie Wilson, Xscape, Boyz II Men, Fantasia, After 7. Saturday performers are Jill Scott, The Roots, Common, Keith Sweat, The O’Jays, Bootsy Collins. Tickets prices range from $60 – $125. Select your day and purchase your seats.
Tory Lanez Memories Don’t Die Tour
Mr. “Say It” himself has officially announced his new tour, Memories Don’t Die, and he is including Cincinnati. Ticket prices range from $57.00 – $102.00 and can be purchased online, by calling the 513-872-8801 or visiting the Bogart’s Box Office. Presales are happening now and are only available to certain groups. Doors will open at 7 p.m.
G-Eazy’s Endless Summer Tour
Riverbend Music Center
G-Eazy’s Endless Summer Cincinnati Tour features new wave artists Lil Uzi Vert, Ty Dolla $ign, Ybn Nahmir, P-Lo and Murda Beatz. Prices start at $26.00 and can purchased online or by calling 513-232-6220. The concert begins at 6:30 p.m. Riverbend Music Center gates will open 60 – 90 minutes prior to show time. Accepted items allowed on grounds include sealed water bottle, blanket, binoculars, seat cushions and lawn chairs. For a full list, view General Policies.
Trombone Shorty’s Voodoo Threauxdown
Headlined by Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, the touring street party also features Galactic, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and New Breed Brass Band, plus special guest appearances by Big Easy legends Cyril Neville, Ivan Neville, Kermit Ruffins, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, and more. Tickets go on sale Tuesday, February 20. They can be purchased online or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Doors open at 6 p.m.
The Voice of Black Cincinnati is a media company designed to educate, recognize and create opportunities for African Americans in the region. Visit our homepage, explore other articles, subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Facebook for local news, events, job postings, scholarships and a database of local Black-owned businesses.
Marissa Staples, Writer
The Voice of Black Cincinnati